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Ken Borland

Levi stuns the world as SA level series

Posted on February 20, 2012 by Ken

Richard Levi smashed the most sixes and the quickest century ever as he raced South Africa to victory by eight wickets to level the series in the second T20 international against New Zealand at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Sunday.

16th over – AB de Villiers seals the victory as he clears the front leg and launches Tim Southee for a one-bounce four over mid-on.

15th over – Levi goes down on one knee and smears Roneel Hira through midwicket for four, before ending the over by coming down the pitch and stroking the left-arm spinner over long-on and out the ground for his 13th six!

14th over – Levi breaks the world record for the fastest T20 century by steering his 45th delivery backward of point for a single off his wannabe nemesis Southee. The 24-year-old Cobras batsman has shattered the previous world record of 50 balls held by Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum. It is also South Africa’s first T20 international century! De Villiers clips a full ball on his pads backward of square where Doug Bracewell, having made a great diving save off the previous ball, can’t stop the boundary.

12th over – Levi breaks the world record for sixes in a T20 innings with three in the unfortunate Doug Bracewell’s over. Levi equals Chris Gayle’s record of 10 by bashing the ball straight down the ground into the sightscreen. The next ball is short and pulled over square-leg for a record-breaking 11th six and Levi ends the over with his 12th maximum, hammering a full ball outside off stump over wide long-off.

11th over – Levi equals Loots Bosman’s South African record of nine sixes in a T20 innings as he drives Hira just over a leaping James Franklin at long-off. Franklin perhaps should have been bowling the over as his left-arm seam from around the wicket and across Levi conceded just seven runs in the ninth over!

10th over – Too wide from Kyle Mills and De Villiers slashes the ball over point for four, bringing up the fifty partnership off just 29 balls. The first ball of the over to Levi brings another amazing six, flat-batted from outside off stump, straight over the bowler’s head! The next ball is full outside off and Levi lashes it through the covers for four.

8th over – Too short from Mills and Levi heaves it off the bottom of the bat, but over midwicket for six more!

7th over – Left-arm spinner Hira’s first ball is over-pitched and Levi drives it back over the bowler’s head and over the New Zealand team dugout for another six.

6th over – Take that Southee! The lippy fast bowler tries to bounce Levi, but he pulls powerfully, flat and magnificently for a six well in front of square!

5th over – WICKET – Part-time spinner Rob Nicol comes on and removes Wayne Parnell for four with his second ball. Parnell stepped out of his crease to swipe at a shortish delivery, is off-balance, misses and is stumped after sharp work by Brendon McCullum. Levi ends the over by launching a drive beautifully straight back over the bowler’s head for six.

4th over – Southee comes on and Levi bashes his first ball through mid-on for four.

3rd over – WICKET – Hashim Amla is out for two as he tries to drive Nathan McCullum over the top, but he’s too early on the shot and he skews the ball high to a back-pedalling James Franklin at mid-off. Wayne Parnell ends the over by driving the off-spinner sweetly, inside-out, over extra cover for four.

2nd over – Pace from the other end via Bracewell but he bowls three balls down leg – the first is flicked nonchalantly for six by Levi, who then pulls and flicks to fine leg as well for two fours.

1st over – Off-spinner Nathan McCullum again opens the bowling for New Zealand and Levi top-edges a sweep over fine leg for six.

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